Haiti

Haiti: Tropical Storm Laura - Situation Report No. 3, As of 25 August 2020, 12 noon

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This report is produced by OCHA Haiti in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It covers the situation on 25 August. The next report will be issued on or around 26 August.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Tropical Storm Laura passed Haiti on Sunday, 23 August, causing flooding in 32 communes across 6 departments. 21 people have been killed and another 5 people are still missing.
  • The Ouest, Sud and Sud-Est departments are the most heavily impacted.
  • So far, at least 600 houses are reported as flooded, damaged or destroyed. The number is expected to rise as the evaluation of the impacts is still ongoing.
  • Evaluation of the situation is ongoing, including a flyover of the Ouest and Sud-Est departments this afternoon to further evaluate the impact of the storm.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

The passing of tropical storm Laura created moderate to heavy rains, strong gusts of winds and dangerous sea conditions across many departments, including the Sud, Sud-Est, Ouest, Artibonite, Nippes, and Centre on Sunday 23 August. According to the Hydrometeorological Unit (UHM), soil saturation levels are already at 90-100% in many parts of the country, which means that additional rainfall in the coming days could provoke further flooding events.

Reports indicate that the storm caused flooding in 32 communes across 6 departments, as shown in the map above. Information is still being gathered on the full impact of the storm; however, reports received so far appear to indicate that the Ouest, Sud-Est and Sud departments are the most heavily impacted. A total of 21 people have been killed as a result of the storm and another 5 are still missing. Evaluations are ongoing to get a clearer picture of needs. So far approximately 600 houses have been reported as flooded, damaged or destroyed. However, this number is expected to change as more information comes to light. Destruction of crops and the death of livestock has also been reported the Sud Est, the Sud, the Artibonite, Grand ’Anse, Nippes, Nord, Ouest, and Nord Ouest departments.

HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE

The Government of Haiti, through the General Directorate of Civil Protection (DGCP) is continuing to assess the impact of the storm and corresponding needs, supported by the United Nations (UN) and partners. A helicopter fly-over is proposed for Tuesday 25 August to gain a global overview of the damage from the storm. Representatives from the DGPC, MTTP, Ministry of Agriculture (MRNDR) and UN will today take part in a fly-over assessment of the Ouest and Sud-Est departments, using by the WFP operated UNHAS helicopter. The fly-over will provide an aerial perspective of the affected areas which will assist with assessing needs, including evaluating the impact of the storm on crops in order to anticipate potential food security impacts. Satellite images will also be used to provide additional perspective on the impact of the storm.

The DGPC, with the support of the Fund for Social and Economic Assistance (FAES), is distributing food kits in the Ouest, Nippes, Sud-Est and Sud departments. The distribution of shelter materials, including tarpaulins and equipment to repair damage to houses, is planned for the Sud-Est and Ouest departments.

The Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Communications (MTPTC) has deployed several teams in the Ouest and Sud-Est departments to ensure assessments and repairs of affected roads and bridges.

The National Directorate for Drinking Water and Sanitation (DINEPA) is deploying a mobile team to provide WASH related support, including to distribute water treatment items in Anse-à-Pitres and Belle-Anse.

Three WHO/PAHO teams were earlier deployed in the north and south with cyclone medical kits including the capacity to treat approximately 30 casualties and 50 other patients. Volunteers from the Haitian Red Cross are present in all communes across the country and are equipped with first aid kits. However, access to ambulance transport is extremely limited.

Around 11 schools were used as temporary emergency evacuation shelters. These spaces will need to be vacated and cleaned as soon as possible, so that the schools can resume classes. Due to the fear of COVID-19 transmission, many evacuees preferred to seek shelter with neighbours or family members rather than in the official emergency shelters.

Humanitarian contingency stocks are pre-positioned at the departmental level and can be distributed, if required, once needs have been identified. The logistics sector is available to provide land, air and sea transport to any assessment and response missions.

As numerous roads and bridges are reported as damaged, destroyed or blocked a map of physical access constraints to help facilitate the response. This map was prepared by the logistics cluster, with the support of WFP.

The download the road access map, please visit: https://reliefweb.int/node/3664744/.

Contacts:

Christian Cricboom, Head of Office cricboom@un.org, Cell +509 3702 5180
Eva Soltesz, Humanitarian Affairs Officer, solstesz@un.org, Cell +509 3702 5571
For more information, please visit www.unocha.org // www.reliefweb.int // https://www.humanitarianresponse.info/en/operations/haiti
To be added or deleted from this Sit Rep mailing list, please e-mail: ochahaiti@un.org

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.